I just tried going to "Help | About Slack" and saw this dialog:

about dialog

As you can see it says (Dirty Computer). What does that mean?

  • I assume that this is an inside joke from the Slack team by an admirer of Janelle Monáe. – harrymc Sep 17 '18 at 13:56
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    Before updating to Dirty Computer, my about dialog showed Cartoon Hero. So, I'm guessing those were the 3rd and 4th releases of the Slack client ('C' being the 3rd letter of the English alphabet, and 'D' being the 4th). – WireGuy Sep 17 '18 at 18:02
  • WireGuy is probably correct. It's pretty typical for software projects to use codenames like this. See for example Ubuntu, (which uses an adjective and an animal name), OpenWRT (which used to use names of mixed drinks), or Syncthing (which appears to be using a system similar to Ubuntu). – Austin Hemmelgarn Sep 17 '18 at 19:44
  • And your forgot to mention that startup that uses dessert names... But if your startup is cool enough, it gets a wiki page describing them: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_version_history – WireGuy Sep 18 '18 at 0:34
  • @WireGuy if you put that in the form of an answer I can accept it. – Jez Sep 18 '18 at 4:38

Dirty Computer is probably a Code name for the software release of the Slack client. Developers like to name projects or code they are working on without having to worry about the marketing version or release dates. People also find it easier to remember unique names over numbers. This also facilitates better inter-team communication, as in 'Testers found a defect in Edgy Eft, but developers have fixed it in Feisty Fawn').

For the Slack client, Dirty Computer may use the 'D' in Dirty to indicate the 4th release ('D' being the 4th letter of the English alphabet). The prior release of the Slack client was Cartoon Hero ('C' being the 3rd letter of the English alphabet). Cartoon Hero is a music album by the EDM artist Laszlo. Dirty Computer is a music album by the artist Janelle Monáe.

Other software companies use code names:

The wikipedia has an article some background on code names in other uses, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_name

  • Your answer starts with "probably", so has this been confirmed in the meantime? Because this version name convention is a little confusing if true, i was fully expecting the reason to be because my account or machine wasn't verified in some way, or something along those lines. – Digital Ninja Nov 19 '18 at 12:38
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    Someone on our team messaged Slack and had the following reply: "Since the earliest versions of the Slack app, the tradition has been to name app versions after song titles. So "Dirty Computer" is actually the name of the version 3.3.3 of our app." – Tom Dec 3 '18 at 11:57
  • 4.0.0 The Final Countdown – WireGuy Jul 22 '19 at 19:15

I assume that this is an inside joke from the Slack team by an admirer of Janelle Monáe.

See Wikipedia Dirty Computer.


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